For the vast majority of us, there is only one search engine that we regularly use. However, while Google is undeniably good at what it does, it is not perfect. Here are five best private search engines that provide a more private and secure searching experience.

1. StartPage

StartPage is a search engine which is able to return results from Google, while giving you a level of privacy that Google doesn’t. As well as providing search results, StartPage also features a proxy service, which allows you to browse the websites you find anonymously. It also has a custom URL generator which allows you to save your settings without having to accept cookies.

As you would expect from a privacy-focused search engine, StartPage doesn’t store any of your personal details or data, such as your IP address.

StartPage Trend

StartPage holds the same market share for the last three years with a slight decrease at the end of last year.


2. DuckDuckGo

Anyone who has used the TOR web browser will be familiar with DuckDuckGo as the default choice of search engine. In terms of layout and usability, it is very close to Google, albeit with a cartoon duck taking the place of the iconic Google logo.

If you are especially concerned about your privacy online, DuckDuckGo is the best choice. By disabling any tracking, unlike Google, it also minimises the amount of ads you are exposed to. 

With the release of Chrome 73, Google added DuckDuckGo as an option that users can select as their default search provider in Google Chrome.

DuckDuckGo Trend

It is easy to see the rise in popularity growing from 2016. In January 2019, this search engine reached a number of 1,065,542,936 visitors.

3. Qwant

Qwant is another search engine with an emphasis on privacy. Its creators are adamant that they will never record users’ searches, nor collect any user data. Qwant’s attention to privacy is similar to that of DuckDuck Go, while the interface and layout borrow elements from both Google and Bing, while creating something entirely distinct.

One thing Qwant offers that its rivals don’t is the ability to discover new music and lyrics. This algorithmically-driven feature sets Qwant apart from other search engines with a unique feature.

Qwant Trend

Qwant is another trending search engine. The spike of interest from middle of 2018 is still growing now.

4. SearX

SearX is another search engine which aggregates results from a variety of sources. The goal of SearX is to create a more decentralized and free internet. With this in mind, it doesn’t gather personal data, and also returns results from multiple sources to minimize bias.

SearX also gives you the ability to customise it, and host it on your own server. It gives you a whole host of settings to tweak that other search engines are lacking, and also allows you to search for magnet links for torrent files.

SearX Trend

SearX search engine has a slow, but clear increase in users over the last three years.

5. Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt is another privacy-focused Google alternative, but one that takes a different approach to the others on this list. Not only does it not record search histories or collect personal data, it also uses local encryption in order to ensure that your searches are as secure as possible.

Once you execute a search, Search Encrypt fetches the results from a network of search partners. Unlike other privacy-focused browsers, Search Encrypt automatically erases your local search history after 15 minutes of inactivity. So even if you step away from your computer, and someone else has access to it, they won’t be able to view the sites you’ve been accessing.

Search Encrypt Trend

Despite the huge spike in the beginning the 2018, Search Encrypt is steadily growing search engine.

Which One Is the Most Popular?

No extra review is needed here: DuckDuckGo (red) is taking the major interest and users of all these 5 search engines get.

Conclusion

Google might be the undisputed king of search engines, but there are a growing number of alternatives. If you want a more private online browsing experience, these are the search engines to use.

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